Thoughts on Energy and Intent

The principal rule of internal energy is that everything begins with intent. Going into each interaction with an intention of humility gives a person the ” ability to respond ” (responsibility) accordingly. But according to Lao-Tzu, the 5th century phi…

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Understanding Energy Play, Vibration and BDSM

There is an idea that we “People of Leather” strike each other in order to cause pain, which will be metabolized into sexual desire. But that is a very basic and primitive way of viewing our complex interactions. There are many who view BDSM as a transcended and/or therapeutic experience, which borders on the edge of spirituality.

This ethereal and energetic art that we call BDSM revolves around an energy exchange between two or more enlightened individuals. It transcends the traditional heteronormative idea of intimacy and blends physical reality with the metaphysical. But in order to understand it, we must let go of the antiquated idea that our partner/s are here to inflict pain which we must endure until either our body converts it to pleasure or until they will be merciful enough to bestow release upon us.

I feel that it is important to state that the flesh doesn’t have to be mortified in order for a person to have a transcended erotic experience. What is required is that the person guiding the experience has unique knowledge, understanding, and skills in the following 3 disciplines, in order to bring about an altered state of being in their partner which is colloquially called subspace:: 

Interpersonal Causality 
Erotic Body Dynamics
Energy Flow Techniques

One of the ways in which we bring about this altered state of being is by using impact or a simulated mortification of the flesh. Think of the body as a drum. The bones are like the wooden frame and the skin is pulled tightly across them. When we strike a drum, or in this case a person, vibrations are sent throughout the structure. When we are in tune with our partner we can use strong, regular, repeated patterns which cause a vibratory field that resonates deep within the individual’s structure. This vibratory field is called Akasha and is similar to the primordial OM.
The Seven dhātu 

Akasha, in its Jain and Hindu forms, refers to an imperceptible 5th element that is closely associated with sound (vibration) and empty space. In Buddhist phenomenology, Akasha is divided into two parts: endless space (ajatākasā) and limited space (ākāsa-dhātu).  It is the ākāsa-dhātu or limited spaces within the body that we access through impact play.

But it takes time, patience, and precision in order to find the tonality that resonates for each individual. And because of the time it takes to find each body’s tonal resonance, the process cannot be painful (in the traditional sense) in the beginning.

When the body feels pain, it then contracts. The contraction not only condenses the body, which inhibits and localizes the vibrations, but it also reduces the amount of empty spaces between tissue and organs. These empty spaces are the major conductors of vibration in the body, called the “Pathways of Akasha”. These pathways channel the vibrations throughout the body, so it’s important for the partner guiding the experience to remind the partner being directed (hereby referred to as the bottom), to relax and breathe. It is the breath that engages the sympathetic nervous system, which controls “fight or flight” and allows the body to expand the channels so the vibrations can flow freely.

One of the ways to find the breath is to find the Akashic OM. In order to find the Akashic OM, the facial mask must be found. The facial mask consists of the lips, bridge, and sides of the nose. In order to engage the facial mask, breathe in and out through the nose and project from the diaphragm. Once the breath has been found through the breathing exercise, make an “umhmmm” sound as if sincerely agreeing with someone. Once the lips, the bridge of the nose, and the sides of the nose are vibrating, the facial mask has been fully engaged. Access to Akasha – the vibratory field – can begin.

The next step is to blend the “umhmmm” sound with the OM sound. Slightly open and close the mouth until the vibrations are felt not only in the face, but also throughout the entire body. Once the vibrations are felt, notice how freely the vibrations travel through a relaxed and open body. Also, notice how the vibrations do not feel as intense in areas where the body has become more dense, such as in the legs or in the arms. The more dense or condensed the body becomes, the more resistant it is to vibration.So the partner (hereby referred to as the top) must instruct and remind the bottom to breathe and relax in order to let the vibrations not only enter but move through the body.

Being a guide, the top’s most important tool is repetition. If you have ever put a child to sleep, you know that light repetitious pats on the back soon soothe them into a calm state that eventually leads to sleep. Notice that the impact used in the soothing of a child was not hard or painful but kind and loving. Essentially we are doing the same thing with our adult partners.

With this idea in mind, when we use impact with our partner, we are using a pattern that not only resonates with the person, we are also using what is called a metronome. (A term coined by Sir Nik Santanas) This means that we are making contact with the body at regular intervals. This not only takes the random nature out of the session… It replaces it with an air of predictability that gives the body time to relax and adjust to what’s happening. This period is called the warm up period.

I liken the warm up period to an orchestra tuning up. It begins off beat and out of tune and totally devoid of direction. But once all the members of the orchestra get on the same page and are guided and directed by a maestro, they fall in sync with one another and produce a mellifluous sound (vibration) that can be felt. All of these tonal vibrations elicit emotions and feelings in a manner which cannot be conveyed in any other way.
What is really important is that we stay connected with our partners and that we keep in mind that this is the their journey. This is  their meditative experience and we, as tops, are there as facilitators to help them along their journey.

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What is a Good Master?: Becoming the Real Christian Grey Part II

Since I have been involved in this lifestyle, I often hear one of two phrases. “He is a good Master” or “He is a bad Master”. I have even heard both phrases in reference to the same person at one time! But truth of the matter is – every time we say these things, we’re speaking out of our asses because all we’re doing is stating our opinions – sometimes in public – based on how we feel about someone’s actions or legend.
But what it comes down to is this. There are no concrete criteria for determining if a man is a good or a bad Master. I feel that it’s important that we as a community, begin to establish some criteria for determining when and if a man becomes, or already is, a Master.
Honesty:  “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” -Sigmund Freud
There are two types of honesty. The first is being honest with oneself and the second is being honest with others. In order for a man to develop his Mastery, he must be honest about his own limits, shortcomings, failures and deficiencies because people will fill these openings in his life, mind, body, heart, and soul. The role which a slave plays is as a support for her Master. Together they become a perfect unit. She becomes a right arm which is indispensable to her Master and he wouldn’t dream of being without her.
Being honest with others is not about driving home a person’s shortcomings. Rather, it’s about helping a person to understand how they fit into your life while refining and defining that position. If a Master explains how important the slave is to him, she will develop a sense of pride in her Master and in herself, which will become a motivator in the darkest of times.
When a Master is more than honest with his slaves… When he is transparent about his feelings… To me this vulnerability is a hallmark of courage.
Ethics:   “Primum non nocere” (First, do no harm) 
The problem with ethics is that one man’s idea of ethics is often not the same as another’s idea. So being ethical is more a matter of a person adhering to his own personal convictions, as well as sharing, teaching, and guiding his slave(s) according to that conviction.
When it comes down to it, a slave is a reflection of her Master’s guidance, wisdom, and instruction, so if the Master creates an environment that is honest and ethical, then regardless of his ethical stance, he is pursuing Mastery.
Commitment: You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
A Master must be able to dedicate himself to those who dedicate themselves to him. But it goes deeper than that. A Master must commit to not only his path but to the way in which we walk this path. Too many times a would-be Master outlines a path for his property, but not for himself. Not only does this take away an opportunity for a Master to lead by example, it also ensures that his slave’s path is not in line with his own.  This distance, in my opinion, ensures that their paths will diverge.
But if both Master and slave walk the same path and strive toward the same goal, they will not be separated.
Being Informed: “While parenting books won’t make someone a better parent, a person who read books on parenting tends to become a better parent.” – Stephen J. Dubner
Reading books and blogs on BDSM will not make a man a Master, but this is a visible indication of a man’s desire to be a good Master. A man being humble enough to pick up a book or attend a class – this is a strong indicator of that humility and dedication to his lifestyle.
But not only is it important to read books and take classes. It’s also important to focus on taking a well-rounded complement of classes. For example, I rarely teach a flogging class that isn’t full to capacity, but when I teach a relationship class, very few are willing to attend. This is always surprising to me because the most important toy a Master will ever own is his slave. If she is not well-maintained, then he will be left with nothing. And we see this frequently, in Masters who own well-stocked toy bags but have nobody with whom to use them.
So I can’t help but think….if they were to take a class or read a book on M/s or D/s dynamics, maybe they would have someone. Or at the least the relationships wouldn’t end so badly. To me, there is no greater testament to a man’s Mastery than a long-lasting relationship.
Ability to inspire: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
This is the most important question that a dominant will ever ask himself. “Do I have the ability to inspire someone to do not only what is best for me but what’s best for him or herself?”
Slaves, subs, and bottoms come into this lifestyle because they have a desire to sexually, emotionally, and/or masochistically subordinate to a dominant leader. They want to be lead and it is the Master’s duty to do so. But one of the inherent issues with this dynamic is that often slaves will be so hyper-focused on their Masters that they don’t take care of themselves.
It is a Master’s duty to inspire his slave to take care of herself as well. She has to nourish  herself spiritually, emotionally, sexually, and nutritionally.  A dominant has to find and prime the motivators that will drive a slave to be her best not only for him but for herself.
Sense of humor: ” a sense of humor. It’s like medicine – very healing.” – Max Irons
Having a positive attitude is important in a lifestyle such as ours and nothing shows that more than a good sense of humor.
One thing that we cannot allow is for movies like “50 Shades of Grey” and “The Secretary”, to portray our Masters as only strict, demanding, or potentially violent. It’s important to see the human side of a Master, which is never more evident than in his sense of humor. As I’ve said before, no man is an island. If the circumstances which govern his relationships are always serious and intense, then when problems arise, things will always appear to be bleak. A true Master knows not only how to laugh and smile himself, but he also knows how to make those who follow him, to laugh and smile as well. Laughter is a Master’s best weapon because it always reminds a slave that no matter what happens, they are happy with one another.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what the community thinks. A Master’s relationship will live or die according to his love and leadership, partnered with his slave’s obedience and dedication.

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